Don’t you hate when professionals throw around jargon you don’t understand? It can be frustrating to hear words in English but not really know what they mean. When it comes to tooth replacement, you will likely hear some new terms being used, especially with dental implants. Although you should definitely ask for clarification if needed, here are some basic definitions of words you need to know to make your replacement consultation go more smoothly.
An abutment is a small connection piece, usually made of titanium, that attaches the restoration to the implant post. It is positioned after the jawbone has healed from the placement procedure and has enveloped the post. Various types of abutments can be used depending on the restoration that will go on top.
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option for those who have completely lost one or more teeth. It is the only choice that addresses the root structure of the missing teeth and, as a result, provides stability, security, and many other benefits that traditional bridges and dentures can’t. Dental implants have three parts: post, abutment, and restoration.
Implant placement consists of an oral surgical procedure, in which the dentist makes a small incision in the gums to access the jawbone. A small opening is made in the tissue, and the implant post is placed inside. Then, the gums are closed over the post. This procedure should be performed by a qualified, highly trained expert for the best results.
Osseointegration is an important step in the implant process and is the key to their success. After the post has been surgically inserted into the jawbone, it stimulates new growth. Over time, usually between three and six months, the jawbone tissue actually surrounds the post, just like it does with natural tooth roots. By the time this process is complete, the abutment can be placed, and the restoration can be attached.
A restoration is a prosthetic that replaces missing tooth structure above the gums. There are three types of restorations: a crown, a dental bridge, and full or partial dentures. The restoration tops off dental implants and will vary depending on the number and location of the missing teeth. For instance, a single implant can be restored with a dental crown attached, and multiple teeth in a row can be replaced with an implant bridge.
Although there are certainly more terms that your dentist could use while trying to explain your tooth replacement options, hopefully this list gives you a basic foundation to get the conversation started. So reach out to your dentist today and schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants!
About the Practice
Boyles General Dentistry has been serving the Odessa community for well over 40 years. Dr. Franklin Boyles has achieved Mastership status with the Academy of General Dentistry, while his son, Dr. Stephen Boyles, has reached Fellowship status so far. They have the experience and expertise to place dental implants in-house, meaning patients don’t have to go to another practice for this specialized care. If you would like to set an appointment at Boyles General Dentistry, call us at or visit our Contact Us page.